Politics

Georgia Voting Law: Brian Kemp Blasts Stacey Abrams ‘Flip Flop’ on Boycotts

Former Georgia House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams speaks in Atlanta, Ga., November 2, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Reuters)

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Monday called Democrat Stacey Abrams the “biggest flip flop since John Kerry” over her recent statements asking people not to boycott the state over its new voter laws.

Abrams has been critical of the new law, which opponents claim makes it more difficult for individuals, particularly black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to vote. However, just before Major League Baseball’s decision on Friday to pull its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, which will reportedly cost the area $100 million in tourism revenue, she asked that people not boycott the Peach State.

“Black, Latino, AAPI and Native American voters that are the most suppressed over [the new law] are the most likely to be hurt by potential boycotts of Georgia. To our friends, please do not boycott us. To my fellow Georgians, stay and fight, stay and vote,” Abrams said in a video on Wednesday.

Kemp, a Republican who defeated Abrams in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election, claimed she is “profiting millions off of this” politicking during an appearance on Fox News’ The Story.

“People need to follow the money and see why they’re doing this and so effective and, quite honestly why they’re working so hard at this. It has nothing to do with the merits of the bill. It’s political pressure from a minority group of people, the cancel culture. They’re shaking people down for a long time,” he said.

“You know, that is the biggest flip-flop since John Kerry I have ever seen,” he later added, referencing the 2004 presidential nominee who was accused of “flip flopping” on a number of major issues during the campaign. “For someone that has been pressuring these corporations, pressuring Major League Baseball to now come out after the fact and say don’t boycott? People are getting screwed in this.”

On Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that after “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance” he had decided that the “best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”

Manfred said MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” 

Kemp said Manfred “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about” in terms of the alleged racism and inequities of the new law. 

“You know, they’re referencing no specific points in the legislation. I’m glad to talk through any of those [CEO’s], by the way. You know, it’s the biggest lie that has been out there,” Kemp said.

“Obviously [MLB] didn’t care what was said because they folded to the pressure,” he added. President Biden’s handlers couldn’t even get him a note card that told him what this bill did. Somebody is lying to you. It’s not me. You can read the bill and prove that out.”

Proponents of the law deny accusations that it aims to suppress votes, pointing out that the legislation does not place new limits on election day voting hours and makes the state’s elections more secure without restricting voter access. They have also argued that other states, including Biden’s native Delaware, have more restrictive voting regimes.

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